harte rejects cynicism claims
MICKEY HARTE defended his players against accusations of cynicism in the way they killed Meath momentum in the last 10 minutes when they were protecting a lead, writes colm keys.
Sean Cavanagh was yellow-carded for blatantly dragging down Graham Reilly – an offence that will merit a black card next year – and Stephen O'Neill was red-carded (second yellow) for a high challenge on substitute Ciaran Lenehan.
At the end, Meath selector Trevor Giles was out on the field challenging referee Maurice Deegan over the amount of time being eaten up by the stream of frees.
Harte suggested, however, both sides had been guilty of cynical play in the qualifier clash, and that focusing on the last 10 minutes was unfair.
"Because it was at the end was it cynical? There were rugby tackles earlier in the game, so why would you call one more cynical than the other?" he asked.
Tyrone picked up five of their seven yellow cards from the 60th minute onwards.
Meath forward Reilly tweeted: "Bring on the black card next year, joke at what teams are doing and needs to stop."
However, Harte was adamant there was more than one team involved in blatant fouling.
"Both teams committed fouls that were blatant, so I don't think we can point to the ones at the end and say they were any different to the ones committed at the start," he said.
"I mean, we had players pulled down in a similar fashion at other times in the game when the momentum was with us, so we can't just be looking at this last little bit of the game and saying that's cynical, it's not.
"It happened during the game. Both sides were guilty of it from time to time, so what?"